June 28, 2011

THIN AIR hits the streets of Winnipeg

Have you ever sat down outside on a bench during lunch to read? It’s relaxing, isn’t it? Nothing can make that hour of freedom more enjoyable than becoming lost and immersed in the pages of an intriguing book.

At THIN AIR, we’re interested in what you’re reading. We also believe that other people are interested in what you’re reading too. Therefore, a section of this new and attractive-looking blog will be dedicated to you and your book selections.

Each week, a member of the THIN AIR team will interview a complete stranger on the street about the book he or she is currently reading. The results of the interview will be posted on this blog, and links will also be available on both Facebook and Twitter.

One moment, you’re sitting in a park sipping a cappuccino reading a book. The next, you’re famous. Who knew it could be so easy?

The first interview will be up within the next few days, and a new one will follow every week.

Stay tuned, and keep reading. It’s going to be an exciting summer…

June 27, 2011

Lynn Coady – author and amusing individual

It isn’t every day that a single novel can make you laugh, cry, scream, sigh and berate the characters, but Lynn Coady has a gift. Her most recent novel – The Antagonist – is a perfect example of a story that will force you to stop, think and throw your own life under the microscope.

Coady’s newest novel was the first I picked off a teetering stack when I started my new position at THIN AIR. It was initially the title that drew me in. The Antagonist. That can’t be good. I turned to the back cover and read what the novel was actually about, and here’s what it says:

Against his will and his nature, the hulking Gordon Rankin ("Rank") is cast as an enforcer, a goon -- by his classmates, his hockey coaches, and especially his own "tiny, angry" father, Gordon Senior. Rank gamely lives up to his role -- until tragedy strikes, using Rank as its blunt instrument. Escaping the only way he can, Rank disappears.

But almost twenty years later he discovers that an old, trusted friend -- the only person to whom he has ever confessed his sins -- has published a novel mirroring Rank's life. The betrayal cuts to the deepest heart of him, and Rank will finally have to confront the tragic true story from which he's spent his whole life running away.

With the deep compassion, deft touch, and irreverent humour that have made her one of Canada's best-loved novelists, Lynn Coady delves deeply into the ways we sanction and stoke male violence, giving us a large-hearted, often hilarious portrait of a man tearing himself apart in order to put himself back together.

Who wouldn’t be interested by that? Deciding I simply had to read Coady’s novel first, I turned on a light, flipped to the first page and was immersed in Rank’s world by the end of the first chapter. There is something in The Antagonist that I believe everyone can relate to, and Coady’s writing style is both quirky and engaging.

In case you don’t know much about her, Coady’s literary success with The Antagonist is no surprise. She has previously written four novels and numerous anthologies. Her first  novel – Strange Heaven – was published when she was 28 years old and went on to be nominated for the Governor General’s Award.

Even if she’s not busy working on a new novel, Coady is always writing. She writes for The Globe and Mail’s Group Therapy column, where she delivers the final word on relationships problems. Coady also maintains her own personal blog, which is both energetically written and hilarious.

If you’re interested in checking out her column, click here.

If you’re interested in Coady’s blog, click here

Look for The Antagonist in bookstores in the fall – published by House of Anansi – and be sure to visit Coady at THIN AIR 2011! 

June 23, 2011

Welcome to THIN AIR: the blog!

Plans for the 2011 festival are well underway, and we decided the best way to share our progress was to create a new blog that deals with anything and everything related to THIN AIR. On this blog you will see a variety of posts, ranging from book reviews, featured author biographies, updates on festival progress, creative writing and interviews with readers from around the province. Our goal is to make this new blog as interesting and informative as possible, and we hope you stay tuned and enjoy what we’ve created.

Just in case you’re unsure of what exactly THIN AIR is, here is a quick overview…

In September each year, Winnipeg welcomes writers from Canada and around the world for a week of readings, lectures, interviews, conversations, book launches and other events. That week of literary feasting – which reaches out into the rural areas of the province as well – is THIN AIR, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. With programming for adults and children, in English and French, THIN AIR is an infusion of energy into the thriving literary culture of this city.

Be sure to check out our website at thinairwinnipeg.ca. You can also follow our festival progress on both Facebook and Twitter, and remember: THIN AIR 2011 is SEPTEMBER 18-24, 2011!